Adobe Photoshop vs GIMP: Which One is Better for Designers?

If you are in the graphic design or photo editing industry, Adobe Photoshop is the most known and common software you are familiar with.  Besides this, there are some other online tools like GIMP that deal with almost the same activities. But obviously, both have some technical and functional differences between them. Today in this article, we will try to focus on the comparison along with their key features as well.

What is Photoshop?

Photoshop is a raster graphics editor developed by Abode Inc. This software has efficiency in photo editing, graphic designing, digital art, image creating, etc. The initial release was on February 19th, 1990. It can be operated on Microsoft Windows and macOS. Within a few years of Photoshop creation and development, it’s been the most popular image manipulation program for those who love to play with design and editing pictures.

What is GIMP?

GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used to retouch and edit images, transcoding between different image files, drawing, etc. The initial release was back on 15th February 1996 and it can be operated on both Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.

When To Use Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop


Photoshop is considered the most powerful and best editing software. You can do any sort of editing with it. It is essential when you are a professional designer working on a project locally and internationally. In other words, to work with pixel-based images photoshop is the best app. With Photoshop you can edit 3D content, design web, app, create image-heavy flyers, posters, videos, and animations. While editing images, you can make the color correction of the photos, retouch images, change someone’s face or facial expressions, edit flying hair, remove blemishes, etc.

With Photoshop you can edit, cut, join videos easily. Later, if you want you can add any filter, texts, graphics, animations to your video clip. You can also draw, paint, sketch, do digital arts with this app as well as editing them. You can ensure perfectness in every line, color, shadow, highlight, contrast, texture even a dot with the help of this software. Banners, videos, headers, ads, images, etc. can be created in the right size and optimized for web or social media.

When To Use GIMP?



GIMP is great for would-be or amateur photographers, editors, or designers. Then the question may arise like- Is GIMP as good as photoshop? Well, with GIMP you can use any image and take that on a higher level. But, it is not much use for professional purposes. You can do any basic edits, along with basic vector graphics. Also, GIMP works well when you have limited space on your device,

It comes in handy if you want to use a program that you can carry around with you keeping in the portable drives or pen drive. If you are on a budget using GIMP is the best option as it is free of charge and doesn’t require any payment for upgrades. Whatever your operating system is (Linux, Windows, or macOS), you can easily make the best use of this online tool.

Pros and Cons of The Tools

Both software has several advantages which will drag you towards it to use them. However, some drawbacks can hold you back. Here, we are discussing the pros and cons of Photoshop and GIMP.

Pros & Cons of Using Adobe Photoshop


  • Can transform normal images into professional ones.
  • Can create or edit images for business as well as for social media.
  • Can produce pixel-perfect pictures.
  • Includes top-notch graphic designing features to enhance the creativity of the project.
  • Able to edit videos and animations.
  • Ability to take your picture, video, project, art, or anything to another level with just a bit of retouch and tweak.
  • Can add filters, text, etc. to pictures and videos.
  • Can cut videos into short clips and can join short videos.
  • Can make pictures, ads, posters, etc. look attractive to allure customers or viewers.


  • The toolbar is not pointed out in detail.
  • The software takes a lot of space.
  • Having Photoshop is a bit expensive.
  • Beginners may find it difficult to use it like a pro without learning.
  • It may take time while working with big graphic files.
  • It’s hard for many people to use and get advanced with all the features.

Pros & Cons of Using GIMP


  • This software is free.
  • Beginners will find it very easy to work with.
  • Can detach the background of the image with just a click.
  • There is no need to install it on the computer.
  • Can easily be used with an outer drive, local folder, or cloud.
  • Has an ability to use Photoshop filters, patterns, or brushes within it.
  • Can edit, retouch, check the color of images.
  • Contains advanced features. Has many tools underbrush, selection, transformation, color criteria. Also contains tools like paths and layer.
  • Nonprofessionals can use it with ease.
  • Does not require a huge amount of memory to run. The software needs a very small space which is around 25MB.
  • Enough flexibility to work with.
  • Has a smart menu system.
  • Can function faster while designing or working.
  • Can work on image masking with its advanced tools.


  • Cannot work efficiently with large images.
  • Not able to function well with images that have a lot of layers.
  • Designing a fine arc shape is tough.
  • Third-party plug-ins are limited.
  • Used for general purposes, not professional level.

Key Differences Between Adobe Photoshop and GIMP

Well! There is a ton of differences between Photoshop and Gimp. There are many questions and arguments about which one is better! Is photoshop better than gimp? Or is gimp easier to use than photoshop? Which has better features and more elements? Well, here is a short overview mentioned below.

  • To use GIMP you don’t have to spend a single penny. It’s a free image editing software. On the other hand, Photoshop is a subscription-based paid tool.
  • For professional works, editing in Photoshop is efficient. With GIMP you won’t be able to work in such a professional field, rather for basic works.
  • Photoshop requires a huge amount of space whether GIMP does not require that much.
  • GIMP is open-source software and Photoshop is a closed source or proprietary software.
  • GIMP is a comparatively lightweight software and takes less space than Photoshop.
  • Photoshop needs higher system requirements to operate.
  • Photoshop has a lot of tools and advanced features compared with GIMP.
  • GIMP is comparatively more ideal for batch processing than Photoshop. Photoshop takes an immense of time to process in batch.
  • GIMP has almost uncountable plugins. Photoshop has many plugins too designed by specific photo brands.
  • GIMP is community-centric and Photoshop is customer paid.
  • GIMP is ideal for nonprofessionals or beginners and Photoshop is ideal for designers, editors, or professionals.
  • Generally, Photoshop is created not only for editing digital photography but for other features as well. GIMP is mainly created for editing digital photography.
  • GIMP has basic vector graphic functions or features that Photoshop lacked.
  • Photoshop can work with raw pictures but GIMP needs a plug-in to begin working with that costs much time.
  • GIMP is portable but Photoshop is not.
  • Photoshop is appropriate for business purposes, GIMP is mainly for general purposes.
  • Photoshop is more advanced regarding the functionality than GIMP.
  • The tools that are used in Photoshop can be classified into eight to ten options. On the other hand, the tools used for GIMP have four to five options.
  • Photoshop typically runs on industrial standards and GIMP standards are not classified like Photoshop.

So, Which One Should You Pick?

Which one did you find more suitable for you? Photoshop or GIMP? There is a lot of saying between these two options. The important fact is- use the one which you find easy and which meets your needs. Think about a project you are working on, use that software that has all the features you need and also not time-consuming.

If you are a beginner you can go with the GIMP but if you required very professional and high-quality edits, that can only be provided by Photoshop. No matter which one will you choose, we hope it will provide your work efficiency.

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